Tag Archives: Australian abattoir

Wagga Wagga (Est #291). NSW

Wagga Wagga abattoir is owned by Teys Australia, a Beef and offal export accredited facility located in NSW

Other Names

  • Teys Australia Southern Pty Ltd

Current Operation

  • Aus-Meat Accreditation #291. Accessed 02/10/2017
    • Export accredited facility processing Beef and Beef offal
  • MSA Licensed Plant for Beef processing5

Teys logo 15.09.2017

Source  www.teysaust.com.au. 15.09.2017. Teys Cargill Logo


Teys contact 15.09.2017

Source. www.teysaust.com.au. 15/09/2017. Teys Contact details


  • Wagga Wagga is a major regional city in NSW, Located on the Murrambidgee river, midway between Sydney and Melbourne


Location relative to other abattoirs across Australia

Location of Australian Abattoirs





  • March 27. US food multinational Cargill issues a three month lockout notice to meat workers at its Wagga Wagga abattoir6
    • Lockout will begin the following week 02/04/20026.
  • Wage talks have been ongoing for the last five months between, workers, union and meatworks7.
  • AMIEU union organiser at this point is Steve Gurney7.
    • If workers endorse the latest union proposal the company has agreed to withdraw the lockout notice7.
  • April 3. Workers vote to accept new pay deal9
  • Cargill public affairs manager at this time is Lloyd George9
    • Majority of workers voted for the agreement9
    • 20 maintenance workers are yet to vote on a separate agreement9
    • An official vote would take place in 2 weeks, 10/04/20029
  • Wagga Wagga abattoir has approximately 475 workers at this time10.
  • Cargill have kept the facility closed until the official vote preventing the workers returning to work10.
    • Cargill won’t re-open until the maintenance union and maintenance workers vote on their agreement10.
    • Maintenance union have refused the offer10.
    • Currently 16 maintenance workers on site11.
  • Australian Manufacturing Employees Union (AMWU) organiser Rob Leonard11.
  • Cargill lift the lockout and continue to negotiate with the maintenance union11
  • Cargill has extended leave entitlements to workers while the plant was shutdown11


  • January. Odour problems occur from the facility resulting in court action in August 200417.
    • Animals parts that had been cooked to remove moisture and fat had created the odour17.
  • March. NSW Government approve a plan to double the facilities production, $30M13.
    • Progress is in the hands of Cargills American parent company13.
  • May. Cattle market was tight and running hours at the facility may be required to be reduced further during winter13.
    • Facility will only operate for 3 days next week (First week in June)13.
  • July. Workers have been asked to take annual leave for a fortnight while the facility closes due to drought-induced downturn in stock numbers12.
  • 450 workers are employed at the facility12
  • General manager at Wagga Wagga abattoir at this point is Dick Kelley12
  • Impact of drought and rising Australian dollar had hit the beef processing industry hard12.
  • Wagga Wagga’s main export destination was North America and Asia12.
  • Australian dollar has appreciated more than 30% against the American dollar in the past 18 months, largely due to Australia’s higher interest rates14.
    • Australian dollar is currently $US66c14.
    • Exporters need rates to ease incase it prices them out of key overseas markets14.
  • November. Expansion is given the go ahead from Cargill Beef16.
    • $30M upgrade will boost output from 850 head cattle a day to 1,200 head16.
    • Mean 125 new jobs, taking employment level to 62516.
    • Upgrades are expected to start in January 200416.
      • completion by March 200516.
  • Director of Communications for Cargill Beef at this point is Mark Klein16.


  • July.Expansion plans have not started yet18.
    • Development application had been approved for some time18.
    • Construction plans were yet to be submitted18.
  • August. Wagga Wagga abattoir is ordered to pay $72,000 for emitting offensive odours17.
    • Incidents had occurred in January 200317.
    • Odours were smelt over 2km from the facility17.
    • Order was to spend $32,000 planting 4,500 trees along or near the Olympic Highway17.
      • and pay $40,000 in court costs17
  • Abattoir has upgraded facilities to ensure the odour problems don’t  happen again17.
    • Installed a bio-filtration system and the roof has been replaced at the rendering plant17.


  • January. Cargill general Manager Bill Buckner at official opening of the $36M expansion19.
  • Cattle are sourced for the abattoir from the company’s feedlot at Jindalee and a radius of approximately 200km189


  • Wagga Wagga abattoir has a failure at their sewer treatment system creating offensive odour problems to neighbours20


  • August. Cargill Beef will introduce a $13M wastewater treatment system20
  • Pollution improvement works will result in a 20% cut to the abattoirs daily kill20
    • Cargill had approval to kill to 2,000 head per day, this has been reduced to 1,600 head cattle per day20
    • Had been killing 1,250 head per day20
  • 104 conditions were put in place by the Department of planning20.
  • Cargill Environment manager Charles Hollingsworth21
  • Pollution reduction program will reduce carbon emissions21
    • generate over 1 megawatt of renewable energy from captured biogas21
    • improve water quality21



  • Teys purchase a feedlot and cropping property in north central Victoria from Elders in Charlton11.
    • Feedlot has capacity of 20,000 head1
    • Cost $10M and is Victoria’s largest feedlot1
    • Property is 776 hectares1
    • Feedlot infrastructure is 150 hectares with feed mills, flaking plants1
    • All staff had accepted employment with Teys1
    • Teys committed to capital upgrades over the next 3 years1
    • Primarily provide custom feeding to Naracoorte and Wagga abattoirs.1
    • Previous owners had custom fed 80% of capacity prior to sale2


  • September. Teys Chairman at this time. Allan Teys AM4
    • Teys Chief Executive officer at this time. Brad Teys4

Executive officers 15.09.2017

Source. Teys website 15/09/2017 Current leadership team


Sources Wagga Wagga. #291. Teys Australia Southern Pty Ltd

  1. ‘Teys buys Elders Charlton feedlot’ QLD Countrylife 31.07.2014
  2. ‘Charlton workers keep jobs’ The Weekly Times 30.07.2014
  3. Aus-meat Accreditation listing. 30.03.2015
  4. http://www.teysaust.com.au/
  5. MSA Licensed Plants 06.06.2014. MLA
  6. ‘Lockout ban rests on deal’ Daily Telegraph 27.03.2002. via ebscohost
  7. ‘Vote on Tuesday could prevent lock-out at meatworks’ Australian 28.03.2002. via ebscohost
  8. ‘Pay deal jobs lifeline’ Daily Telegraph 29.03.2002. via ebscohost
  9. ‘Deal carved for meatworkers’ Daily Telegraph 03.04.2002. via ebscohost
  10. ‘Meatworkers locked out’ Daily Telegraph 04.03.2002 via ebscohost
  11. ‘Meatworkers back on the job’ Daily Telegraph 04.04.20020 via ebscohost
  12. ‘NSW: Drought causes temporary closure of abattoir’ Australian 01.07.2003. via ebscohost
  13. ‘Abattoir weathering tight conditions’ ABC Rural news 27.05.2003. via ebscohost
  14. ‘Exporters up the ante on rate cut’ Illawarra Mercury 02.07.2003 via ebscohost
  15. ‘Abattoir hits hard times’ Daily Telegraph 02.07.2003
  16. ‘Abattoir gets the nod for $30M revamp’ ABC Rural News 11.11.2003. via ebscohost
  17. ‘NSW: Wagga Wagga abattoir ordered to pay for smell’ Australian. 08.04.2004. via ebscohost
  18. ‘Meatworks revamp nearing start’ ABC 12.07.2004
  19. ‘Meatworks’ $36M expansion promises beef producer boost’ ABC Rural News 25.01.2006
  20. ‘Sewer woes to cut meatworks output’ ABC Rural News 04.08.2010
  21. ‘Cargill to reduce pollution from Wagga Wagga abattoir’ ABC Rural News. 04.08.10.
  22. ‘Cargill serious about Teys’ http://www.farmonline.com.au 08.02.11
  23. ‘Victorian processors continue to source’ QLD Country Life 20.10.2011
  24. ‘After decades of keeping a relatively low profile in Aust’ Stock Journal 05.01.2012
  25. ‘News Brief. 26 Sept.’ Beef Central 26.09.2011
  26. ‘Record yardings continue’ Stock and Land 12.12.2003
  27. ‘Wagga’s Heinz factory closes, but Teys interested in facility’ ABC Rural News 18.12.2014
  28. ‘Teys looks at closing abattoirs’ http://www.farmonline.com.au 17.02.2015
  29. ‘Teys in talks with labour recruitment………’ ABC Rural News 24.06.2015
  30. ‘Teys upgrades Wagga cold store’ http://www.farmonline.com.au 21.07.2015
  31. ‘Teys Australia to shed jobs, reduce output…….’ ABC Rural News 16.02.2016
  32. ‘Exclusive: Teys: Cargill seal deal to merge’ Beef Central 10.05.2011
  33. ‘Sweet fit for Teys and Cargill’ Beef Central 15.05.2011
  34. ‘Business as usual under merged Teys/Cargill beef venture’ Beef Central 02.09.2011
  35. ‘Teys: 800 jobs at risk as union rejects wages offer’ Beef Central 12.07.13
  36. MLA Industry Projections 2016
  37. ‘Top 25 Lotfeeders: No 2 Teys Australia’ Beef Central 19.02.2015
  38. ‘Cattle supply forces retrenchments at two JBS QLD plants’ Beef Central 15.07.2016
  39. ‘Beef plants laying idle as cattle squeeze reaches critical point’ Beef Central. 16.08.2016
  40. ‘Teys Wagga granted EU accreditation’ http://www.farmonline.com.au
  41. ‘Teys Wagga Wagga plant picks up EU accreditation’ Beef Central 08.12.2016
  42. ‘Wagga sale 19/12/2016: Rates rise in final sale of 2016’ Beef Central 19.12.2016
  43. ‘Teys cuts back operations at Wagga, as cattle supply dwindles’ Beef Central. 15.02.2016
  44. ‘Cattle shortages forces processor cut backs’ http://www.farmonline.com.au 16.02.2016
  45. ‘Teys cops flack from ALEC over explanation behind cutbacks at Lakes Creek plant’ Beef Central 09.02.2016
  46. ‘Weekly kill: Weather again plays havoc with processing operations’ Beef Central 20.09.2016
  47. ‘Teys animal health feedback project aims to lift industry performance’ Beef Central 11.10.2016
  48. ‘Teys to launch its own pasturefed standard, as alternative to PCAS’ Beef Central 27.04.2017
  49. ‘$18.5M investment as Teys Wagga plant gears-up for EU trade’ Beef Central. 14.06.2017
  50. EU Accredited facilities in Australia. 11.10.2016
  51. ‘Weekly Kill: Normal service set to resume, after six-week hibernation’ Beef Central 03.05.2017
  52. ‘Teys launches feedback data project for feeder cattle’ Beef Central. 21.06.2017%
  53. ‘Judge dismisses bid by Teys Australia to stop Wagga Wagga developments’ ABC News 20.01.2015

NSW abattoir list A – Z.

This list is only of those facilities currently on this blog.

For sites in other parts of Australia, go to Australian Abattoir Locations


Aberdeen abattoir. Closed. Last owned by AMH

Bega. Current operation unknown

Blayney abattoir. Closed Last owned by ANZCO

Bourke (Proposed) Goat


Casino abattoir. Currently operating

Collarenbri. Proposed goat abattoir

Coonabarabran abattoir. Closed

Coonamble abattoir


Cowra abattoir. Currently operating


Deniliquin abattoir. Current operation unknown

Dubbo abattoir. Currently operational. The largest sheepmeat processing facility in Australia.

Duringula abattoir

Forbes abattoir (NSW)

Goulburn abattoir




Guyra abattoir

Harden abattoir. Closed in 2006.

Inverell. Better known as Bindaree Beef. Currently in operation.


Oberon abattoir


Aberdeen abattoir

Now closed, located in north east NSW, was last owned by AMH.
Historically a very old facility – originally began in 1891. Most recently upgraded in 1996, closed 1999,


Opened in 2004 as a small species abattoir processing rabbits and poultry, located south of Canberra in NSW. Had operating cost issues in 2013, closure threatened.

Blayney abattoir

Located in southeast NSW. Began operations as a freezing works in 1900, became insolvent in 1996, then purchased by ANZCO, with debts still owing to unsecured creditors of $6M. Closed in 1998. AMIEU citing economic reasons rather than stock shortages as the main cause of closure.

Bourke (Proposed) Goat

2008 local council proposed establishment of a goat abattoir to process 1,500 goats a day.

Camperdown abattoir

Located only 8km Sydney, closed 1991 following violent industrial disputes.

Casino abattoir

Currently operating in 2014. The only Australian farmer co-operative abattoir of its kind. Specialised Wagyu plant that has two operating floors for different size slaughter animals.

Collarenebri (Proposed) Goat

Formally a failed emu and ostrich abattoir a proposal was put forward in 2008 to develop the site to process 750 goats a day for 8 months of the year.

Coonabarbran abattoir

Located 600km north west of Sydney. Was the only abattoir in the region that did service kill of 3 species, cattle, lamb and pigs. Had environmental pollution problems in 2008 which attracted legal action and fines. Closed in 2012 citing costs of fines from 2008 issues.

Coonamble abattoir

Closed in 2001 due to government GST and regulation costs, is currently being upgraded for reopening in 2014

Cootamundra abattoir

Cowra abattoir

Located 250km west of Sydney the abattoir has been through closures but is currently operating.
Commenced operations in 1970, pay disputes in 2006, administrator appointed in same year. While insolvent owner conducted illegal activity by transfer of deed to another company and allocating 1st mortgage status to it and not the bank, with employee entitlements last and unable to be paid. Administrators sold facility in 2007, it underwent significant upgrades in 2012 with CCTV installed.

Culcairn abattoir

Deniliquin abattoir

Deniliquin had a freezing works in the late 1800’s. The current abattoir was built at a different site and was operating prior to 1990. It opened and closed a number of times. Recently being sold the facility has undergone upgrades with intentions of being opened in 2013

Dubbo abattoir

Largest sheep meat processor in Australia currently in operation. A new plant built in 1988 which was the first to have a processing chain that was a hot boning system for mutton. When developed the employment was shift based and not tally as other abattoirs at the time. Did have a wool processing facility that is now closed. Production has been affected by supply of animals, high Australian dollar, sheep prices and reduction of the Australian sheep herd. It proposed in 2010 to merge 2 shifts for one as a 10 hour work day, unions resisted.


Located mid north east NSW, currently closed. Local government considering injecting funds for refurbishment of the facility.

Forbes abattoir

Located southwest NSW, built in the 1950’s, owned and operated by Japanese 1988 to 2003. Plant required significant capital upgrades which the owners were not prepared to do and it closed in 2003. Talk of reopening in 2013.

Goulburn abattoir

Located 200km southwest of Sydney and north of Canberra. Has faced major shortage of animal supply issues in the past due to drought and decreased national sheep herd. Recently increased costs of water affected operations

Grafton abattoir

Gundagai abattoir

Gunnedah abattoir

Guyra abattoir

Was operating prior to 1960 as a government owned facility, closed to be reopened by the council as a service kill facility. Racking up substantial debts of $6M these were waived at sale in 1985 to be reopened then closed again in 1993. AMH purchased around this time and entered into a partnership with DR Johnston to operate. Involved in significant industrial disputes the plant was regarded as marginal it was closed permanently in 1996. Currently being considered for development of the site as a rabbit farm

Harden abattoir

Built in the 1970’s by council, Southern meats purchased and ran Harden with a US consortium. US sheepmeat import tariffs caused short operational closures but lack of supply of animals due to extended drought caused final closure in 2006.

Inverell abattoir

Located in northern NSW, a privately owned abattoir more commonly known as Bindaree Beef. Recently received $23M government grant for a biogas project. Negotiations in 2014 with union regarding EBA have stalled, workers have had a number of stop works in recent months over pay disagreements.

Lismore abattoir

Oberon abattoir

Located 200km east of Sydney, Privately owned facility that was shut for a period due to a business deal. Re-opened in 2014 targeting Asian market preferences in Sydney.


Other Names

Current Operation

  • Currently in operation1


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.



  • Small local processor




  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.


Other Names

Current Operation

  • Is currently operating as at 2012.1


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.






    1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.


Other Names

  • Bowen Freezing works
  • Merinda abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed 19972
    • Other articles cite closure as 1996.4


  • Merinda – 6 miles from Bowen          

Australia. Bowen

Map BowenHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.


  • Bergl (Australia) Ltd3
  • Thomas Borthwick & Son – owned 5-6 abattoirs in Australia (1933)3
  • AMH (1986)2
  • Nippon Meats (Japanese) purchased 1989.4
  • Nippon Meat Packers6
    • Subsidiary of a Japanese Multinational
    • Nippon meat packers incorporated 19786
  • products_edited-1Source Nippon Meat Packers Australia interactive beef products

    This is a great diagram that is able to be clicked on in the Nippon website and illustrates where the various cuts of beef and offal are located in the animals bodies

  •  Nippon currently own 3 operating abattoirs in Australia ( as at 2016)


  • Purchased stock from Western QLD & NT

History of Bowen Meatworks


  • Recognition that the export trade of meat needs to be developed for the economic benefit of Australian producers (Pg 1041).9
    • Existing low values are due to fact that half to one third of surplus meat is exported.9
    • Should be exporting 250,000 to 300,000 carcases of beef.9
    • £1M pounds is required to construct meatworks.9
    • If not constructed £10M pounds could be added to existing capital of the banks and still their securities would be unprofitable(Pg 1042).9
  • Parliament develope “The Meat and Dairy Produce Encouragement Act”(Pg 1042).9
    • Levy imposed on both cattle and sheep.9
    • 2 funds .9
      1. Dairying herds
      2. Beef herds
    • Fund allows for establishment of meatworks at.9
      • Pinkenba
      • Bowen
      • Redbank
      • Cardwell
      • Broadsound
      • Gladstone
      • Brisbane
      • Charleville
      • Mackay
      • Biboohra (Mareeba)
      • Burketown and
      • Sellheim


  • Operation was started by local cattlemen.11
    • Cattle were selling for as low as 30/ per head.11
    • Only in operation for one year.11
  • Bergl purchased
    • Had connections with Houlden Bros – Boats known as Grange Line.11
  • Works employed 200-400 men.11
  • Killed an average of 15,000 cattle per annum.11
    • the best year being 30,000 head.11


  • Bergl Australia acquire the small plant, at this time known as Merinda.9
    • Prior to this had been by Bowen Meat Export and Agency Co.10


  • In operation


  • November. Bowen works is purchased by Borthwick’s with the intention of commencement of export operations in 1933.11
  • Borthwicks had been operating Burdekin meatworks previous 2-3 years.11
    • have not continued with the lease.11
  • Prior to Borthwicks purchase the Bowen meatworks had been idle for sometime.11
    • Bergl had installed modern machinery in the previous year.11
    • Bergl did not intend to carry on in QLD.11
  • Borthwicks had obtained prominent army contracts.11
    • In 1923 securing bulk of the war office yearly contract of 6,000 tonnes for home command.11


  • Borthwick & Son purchased. Rebuilt and made extensions.3

Thomas Borthwick_edited-1Source – QLD National State Library. #137304
Thomas Borthwick & Sons Freezing works. Undated


  • Oil stove used to heat bitumen to seal cork insulation in the storage section caught fire3
  • Was 800t of meat in the store at the time.3
  • 300 employees killing 376 cattle a day for export

Bown - fire_edited-1Source QLD National Library. #137256
Thomas Borthwick & Sons Freezing works


  • Slaughter processing peak 58,500 head.10


  • Closed overnight – Lord Borthwick unable to meet demands of unions and strikes1


  • Is currently registered as a meat export works (Pg 314).5
    • Proprietor – Thos. Borthwick & Sons (A/Asia) Ltd


  • The Australian beef trading/processing environment is worsening(Pg 119).5
    • QLD Cattle herd in 1975 was 14M head.5
      • QLD Cattle herd in 1987 is 9M.5
    • There is low utilisation rates through meatworks and the need to reduce the number the meatworks is seen to improve efficency and reduce operational costs (Pg 120).5


  • Federal Industries Assistance Commission produce a report that reveals the Australian meat processing industry has 38% excess capacity (Pg 126).7


  • April. Joint Venture Proposal is begun to amalgamate.7
    • FJ Walkers (Owned by Elders IXL)
      • Already own 10 abattoirs, including 4 key export works and meat packing plants in Australia (Pg 119).5
    • Metro Meat Industries
    • Smorgon Consolidated Industries
    • Tancred Bros
    • Thomas Borthwick & Sons
      • Borthwicks to add their plants of Mackay (QLD) and Bowen.7
  • Wide spread concern of potential domination of the QLD beef market by the merger entity (Pg 127).7
  • May. Trade Practices Commission (TPC) holds a investigation.7
  • June. TPC announce will not place legal impediment to the merger.7
  • July. Borthwicks  withdraw from talks(pg 120).5
    • Borthwicks had operation problems of it’s own and wanted to sell all Australian assets including hides and skin processing not just jewels of Bowen and Mackay.5
    • Portland (Vic) would be particularly difficult to sell due to union unrest.5


  • Is listed in Aus-Meat Accreditation List as Establisment #723.8
    • Borthwick. T & Sons Ltd.


  • January. Teys Brothers are in discussion with Borthwick to purchase Borthwick Australian assets and a Japanese branch of the company (Pg 121).5
  • Teys had been in a joint venture with Canada Packers (Pg 121).5
    • Canada Packers withdrew from the joint venture which influenced Teys to seek financial backing from Kerry Packer in bidding for the Borthwick assets
    • Purchase price $25M Australian
  • AMH saw the ‘new entrant’, Teys as a threat to AMH’s ability to remain profitable and achieve further rationalisation in the northern region (Pg 122).5
  • AMH commented that Borthwick operations were the main price competition in QLD (Pg 122).5
    • If Borthwicks not in the market AMH would earn $10 a head more per animal.5
  • AMH offered Borthwicks $29M for Australian Assets (Pg 122)
  • TPC advised AMH not to proceed without their consultation as they would likely contravene Sec 50 Trade Practices Act and likely dominate the QLD cattle market (Pg 123).5
  • TPC placed an injunction for AMH to withdraw offer (Pg 123).5
    • AMH resisted arguing the the order would likely allow Teys to purchase without actual determination of contravention of section 50.5
    • AMH  offered undertaking that Borthwicks business’s would be maintained and conducted independently and in competition with the business of AMH.5
    • TPC accepted but possible divestiture order was of significant commercial risk to AMH.5
      • TPC announced an inquiry was to be held.5
    • Borthwicks sale to AMH was accepted 26/01/1988
  • Borthwick Hides and skins business were immediately sold.5
  • All remaining parts of Borthwicks were combined with AMH
  • February. TPC begins inquiry.5
    • TPC accepts that northern QLD is a seperate market to central and southern QLD.5
    • AMH control 5 of the 10 abattoirs in the region.5
  • Bowen abattoir could lift total regional slaughter capacity to over 76.76%.5
  • TPC ruled AMH had contravened section 50.5
    • Ruling was AMH must divest itself of Bowen & Mackay
      • Could retain control of Portland (pg 128).7
    • 3 months to do so
    • appeals and cross appeals conducted.
  • Trade Practices Commission forced sale due to AMH having dominant market share.2
  • March. TPC final judgement ruling on AMH case (Pg 123).5
    • Case is held as precedent on what constitutes the geographical limits of a product market
  • While the court case was in process AMH had been operating the plants(Pg 123).5
    • Profits from them had been above market expectations.5
    • Bowen was of marginal importance
    • Mackay was significant because of the access to lucrative Japanes market (Pg 128).7
  • AMH offered QLD plants to Anglo Irish $32M (Pg 124).5
    • initially Anglo Irish accepted but revalued plants at considerably less and withdrew from the deal
  • TPC increased pressure on AMH to sell plants (pg 124).5
    • If AMH didn’t sell them TPC would put plants up for public auction at market price
  • Nippon Meat Packers, in consortium with Mackay Sugar to purchase the Bowen and Mackay plants (Pg 123,86).5
    • reported $32M


  • Closed as part of Industry rationalisation.4


  • Closed.2


  • March. Petition – Abattoirs,  presented to Parliament – 1,248 signatures. requesting4
    1. Revoke export licence for the Nippon Meat abattoirs at Mackay and Merinda: and4
    2. initiate a review of foreign investment guidelines in Australia to ensure that multi-national companies investing in Australia are bound by a code of conduct which protects the interests of all stakeholders, and not just overseas stakeholders.4


  1. Facebook KBS 16.01.13
  2. ‘Northern Australian Beef Industry – Assessment of opportunities and risks’ ABARE 2012
  3. ‘Fire Damages Bowen meat works’ Courier Mail 05.07.41
  4. House of Representatives Petition. Abattoirs. 09.03.1998.
  5. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn
  6. ‘Meat Processing in Australia’ IBIS World. June 2010
  7. ‘Employers & Industrial Relations in the Australian Meat Processing Industry’ J OLeary 2008
  8. ‘Aus-Meat Accreditation list November 1987
  9. QLD beef industry 1962. pdf
  10. ‘Triumph in the Tropics’ http://www.oesr.qld.gov.au 1959
  11. ‘Purchased by Borthwicks’ www.trove.nla.au 28.11.1932


Current Operation

  • Operating as a special purpose abattoir


  • 30 km E of Mandurah

Australia. Karnet

Map. KarnetSource – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas


  • Karnet Prison farm – is a minimum security prison2


  • Cattle & sheep processed in abattoir1
  • Training site for prisoners to gain experience and knowledge in agricultural production for employment prospects.2
  • Karnet works in conjunction with Pardelup prison farm (Mt Barker), have herd of cattle and sheep, produce is sold on the open market and steers brought to process in the abattoir with cull animals off the farms in the abattoir and boning plant.3
  • Farms produce milk, eggs, vegetables and fruit for other prisons in WA, estimated to save $2M a year in the produce being able to be supplied.3
  • Equipment, sheds and hydroponic systems built from equipment seized in drug raids.3




  • Prison farm established2



  1. WAMIA Meat processors 2013
  2. http://www.correctiveservices.wa.gov.au/prisons/prison-locations/karnet.aspx
  3. ‘Inside job’ Landline. 19.02.12. http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2012/s3434298.htm


Current Operation

  • Operating as at 2013


  • Between  Perth and Mandurah – 35 km S Perth

Australia. Baldivis

Map. BaldivisSource – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas


  • Konynen Farm


  • Processes Rabbits1






  1. WAMIA Meat Processors 2013


Cairns (more commonly known as Queerah meatworks) was located in far north QLD received cattle from mainly north Australia, often by Barge from the NT and Normanton that had travelled from the gulf of Carpentaria. Began to export in 1950’s closing in 1989

Number of photographs kindly supplied by the Cairns Historical Society, a museum and library operated by volunteers.

Other names

  •  Queerah

Current Operation

  • Closed 19861
  • Others say 19894

P08210 (2)Source – Cairns Historical Society, 1952. Photo PO8210
The Cairns Meatworks


  • Skelton Creek, Cairns

Australia. Cairns. jpg

Map. Cairns 001Source – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas.


  • Amagraze. Director Fred Beaver (1962)3
  • AMH


  • Export1
  • Nominal Capacity 110,000hd per 50 weeks1



Queerah 1950.Source Cairns Regional Council. Dated 1950

Queerah Meatworks

  • Begun to export early 1950’s4


  • 1st loading 6th June 1960.Ships – Irene Clauser ,  Inger Clausen – coasters – length of 50m, shallow draft, carry 200-250hd1
  • Clara Clauser – specifically built for Gulf trade, larger but shallower draft of only 1.8m, carry 800-1000hd1
  • Involved in shipping cattle Gulf of Carpentaria around Cape to Cairns, otherwise cattle had to be walked 3500km to east coast, ships took 5 days1
  • Burketown, Karumba & Normanton – shipping from these regions to Bowen and Cairns. Govt paid a 3 pound freight subsidy3
  • Earlier service operated by barge Wewak, owned by Marine contracting and towing company1pg 72

p04059 (2)Source – Cairns Historical society. 1963. PO4059
Winners of the Queerah meatwoeks carcass competition Cairns Show


  • Isla Clauser – replaced Inger Clauser  and Irene Clauser, to be replaced by Ida Clauser3
  • At this time Cairns (Queerah) was most modern meatworks in the southern hemisphere5
    • Had first continuous chain – carcase kept moving along the line, once it started5
  • July. Meatworkers strike5
    • 13 boners including union president had been sacked for go-slow5
    • Industrial commission and Conciliation commission directed men’s re-employment as boners – they were but with union predisent as a trimmer, reducing wage by half5
    • Company refused to give preference to union workers of  AMIEU5
    • Union called stop work. – 41 employees including union president dismissed5
  • 100 graziers moved in to keep works operating – came from Cape York, Gulf, Hughenden, Alpha and Warwick5
    • mainly used to bone due to backlog of meat5
  • Boners earning 60-65 pounds a week, strike wanted 5 more5
  • Strike went for about 10 days5


  • Cairns Harbour board Installed large Freezers at the Number 1 wharf to store meat in cartons for direct loading to the ship4

p04048 (2)Source – Cairns Historical Society. c1970

Loading export meat from the Queerah meatworks at Cairns wharf


  • Ida Clauser supported Gulf trade to about this year3
  • Clara Clauser – larger, shallow draft built specifically to navigate shallow north Australian rivers3.


  • Over capacity of the meat processing sector had always been a chronic problem, but where previously it was due to seasonal factors now the problem was a direct result of management decisions during the late 1970’s (Pg 85, thesis)5

    • Chronic over capacity, undersupply of cattle and oversupply of labour requirements (Pg 117, thesis)5
    • Processing sector shed 15,000 jobs between 1980-1984 (Pg 117, thesis)5
      Entire export sector was regulated by the speed and skill of the production process (The chain and CanPak killing systems), bureaucratic control systems regulated the substantive and procedural rules (The tally and awards)(Pg 120, thesis)5
    • the only way forward for employers was rationalisation of the production capacity (Pg 120, thesis)5


  • Australian Meat Holdings (AMH) – Four largest meat processors in Australia had decided to combine their resources(Pg 126, thesis)5
    • FJ Walkers (Wholly owned by Elders)5
    • Metro Meat Industries5
    • Smorgon Consolidated Industries5
    • Tancred Brothers5
      • combined assets $90M (Pg 127, thesis)5
      • Plan was to combine resources of QLD meat processing facilities, take over Mackay (then owned by Borthwicks) and Bowen plants. Establish the most suitable operating capacity for the new entity and then rationalise the remaining excess capacity (Pg 126 thesis)5
      • Borthwicks latter withdrew from talks but was latter taken over by AMH in 1987 (Pg 128, thesis)5
  • AMH principal objective was to rationalise capacity of its 9 abattoirs, so the remaining plants would operate near full capacity (Pg 128, thesis)5
    • two older plants immediately decomissioned (Pg 128, thesis)5
      • Authors note – think Cairns  and Cape River abattoir (QLD) were two of these plants.
      • By 1996 AMH had closed 5 of the 9 plants.(Pg 128, thesis)5


  • Closed4


  1. Competition & Exit in Meat Processing. Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  2. ‘100 years of Northern Beef Production’ Nth QLD register 22.11.12
  3. ‘The Australian Live Export Trade’ Nigel Austin.
  4. Cairns Historical Society.
  5. Employers & Industrial Relations in the Australian Meat processing Industry. P. O’Leary 2008
  6. ‘Queerah Meatworks strike’ North QLD register 17.10.2013

Ross River

Built in 1882, QLD meat export agency formed supplied contracts for supply of product to England. Plagued by industrial action its whole operating life most notably in 19919 when a violent clash between the unions and police occurred. Been through ownership receiver, beef price crash, strikes, droughts and market changes. Smorgons meat processors, last owner collapsed in 1994, facility closed in 1995. Site now developed as a residential site with only the chimney still remaining as a historic site.

Other names

  • Ross River meatworks

Current Operation

  • Closed 19951


   Australia. Ross River         



  • Built by QLD meat export and Agency (QME) – Principal Sir Thomas Mcllwraith, QLD Premier2
    • QME was a government operated organisation
  • Vesteys purchased 19556
  • Smorgons6


  • Export
  • Nominal Capacity 120,000hd per 50 weeks1

Other abattoirs in the region

Pentland (QLD)

Townsville – Stuart (QLD



History of Ross River abattoir               

  • Initially was a major exporter for Townsville region
  • Meatworks chimney still stands today, restored


  • Boiling works began operation 1 kilometre downstream from latter site of Ross River meatworks5
    • Boiled down tallow was selling in Sydney 46 shillings cwt, hides 16 shillings5
    • Gold discoveries forced works to close due to lack of stock supply5
    • closed 18705
  • Initial workforce of 7006


  • Built and cost to build £75,0004
  • June. Started operation.5
  • Processing 80 head cattle day
  • used gravitational system, animal killed on one floor and then meat processed in others4
  • Wharf couldn’t handle the ships to transport frozen meat and a coastal steamer had to be modified to convey meat from wharf to ship.5
  • Operating company of meatworks imposed strict conditions on delivery of cattle, requiring animals to be delivered on particular days or suffer5


  • QLD meat export and Agency co formed(Pg 47)8
    • Sir Thomas Milwraith & John Cooke, floated company with 1M pound8
    • Agents in London – Messrs. W Weddel and Co8
    • 5 year freight contract with Houlder Bros & co, for conveyance of 1200t meat per month8
    • Company formed to give graziers markets in the Old World (England) for their suplus cattle8
  • Plans submitted to build meatworks in Brisbane & Townsville.5


  • Construction began – 6 acres freehold5
  • Was considered one of the best factories of the time with freezers and used electricity for lighting (Townsvilled didn’t have household electricity until 1923)5
  • When designed used a system of dry air compression, this was replaced with ammonia compression and air circulating batteries a few years latter (Pg 49)8
  • First industrial dispute before even began work5
    • Contractor (McCallum Park) v’s carpenters  – McCallums only wanted to pay 10 shillings a day, 2 shillings below going rate5
  • Industrial disputes would mark next 100 years of operation5


  • Was receiving complaints about the effluent being pumped into the river after relocation of manure shed, rudimentary digestors installed that produced fertiliser and sold to locals5


  • Mr Charles Harford – In charge at the time over a period of 13 years – Ross River abattoir was the most up to date abattoir he had seen4.
  • In reference to Ross River “In order to combat the exorbitant demands of labour it was necessary to use as much labour-saving machinery as possible”4
  • Costs – Total cost for yarding, killing and other handling as well as dealing with offal and by products was £1/3p per head for cattle and £18 per 100 sheep. Quoted in 1914 “..but the work could not be done at that price now”4
  • “One man knocked down 520 cattle in a day of eight hours”4
  • Difficulties arose in meat marketing – with competition form

site _edited-1Source – ‘A history of the frozen meat trade’. Critchell & Raymond. 1912.
Photo is undated Titled. QLD meat export and Agency company Limited. Ross River works Townsville.


  • Cyclone Leonta hit Townsville on 9th March 1903. Causing widespread devastation. Many buildings at the Ross River meatworks were unroofed or demilished15


  • Half of Freezing capacity was fitted with direct expansion piping, so effective the remaining freezing block was outfitted the following season as large expenditure (Pg 49)8

Prior to 1912 report

  • Manager Robert Stewart (Pg 48)8
  • A controlling holding in the company was purchased by G.S Yuill & co (London based)8
  • Ross River (then known as Ross Creek works) had recent upgrades and refitting.(Pg 48)8
    • Made the works the most up-to-date freezing works in the existance in either hemisphere (pg 48)8
    • Original freezing machinery plant ( air circulating batteries) and other equipment discarded.(Pg 48)8
    • New freezing and electric plant being erected with new steam engines, both for electric and freezing services – supply 220 lbs pressure through triple expansion, supplied by mechanically fired boilers and coal supply .(Pg 48)8
  • Ross River works, coal was expensive, water supply limited and drainage difficult – improvements now made the render at the works second to none for economy and convenience in working (pg 49)8


  • Companies who operated meatworks asked Arbitration court to regulate wages and conditions in the industry to replace direct bargaining with the unions7


  • company had won an court order in previous year to delete ‘union preference clause’ from the award wages system6
    • Clause had been in effect since 19117
  • February – More than 700 meatworkders resolved to declare works black6
    • AMIEU membership was 2442,largest branch at Ross River of 756 members7
    • 500 cattle released from stockyard and water posioned6
      • Cattle deliberatly released by protestors, ring leaders arrested. Supporters after speeches and drinking broke into a gunshop before marching on the watch house9
      • Violent clash between police and unionists. Trouble stemmed from long standing industrial unrest  between meat companies and AMIEU19.
        • Area was besiged by unemployment and economic depression19
        • Unrest degenerated into a riot with shots fired – 9 people injured, seven as a result of police bullets19
        • Townsville remained in a state of siege for weeks19
  • June – strike declared “Only meatworkers responded; all other unions voted to stay on the job. When the strike began about 80 ‘scabs’ were employed. By mid-August more than 300 were working, including AMIEU members who had dribbled back to work”7


  • Export beef trade collapsed6


  • Kenneth Woodhead Moore became manager of the Ross River meatworks14
    • Moore was manager until 1956.14


  • QME – disclosed an overdraft of $2,392,954, at the time estimated cost of replacement of the works was $800,0006
  • November – offer from Vestey’s (British) accepted $1,575,000
    • Subsidiary company W.Weddel & Co – purchased Angliss meat interests in 1934.6
    • 1961 QME had entered into partnership with 11 other companies – Angliss Group6

old photo_edited-1Source – Wikipedia. Photo public property. Undated

holding yards_edited-1Source – This is Australia Oswald L Ziegler, Dated 1956.
Looking over holding yards of Ross River meatworks outside city of Townsville


  • Extensive upgrades including a kill chain6
  • Women allowed to work on the killing floor6
  • Chilled beef shipments had resumed from Townsville for the first time since WWI6
  • QLD government resumed land for realignment of major raods Townsville to Ayr6


  • QME submitted application to sub divide holding paddocks for residential blocks6
  • Australia was in a severe economic crisis.17
    • Most severe since the Great Depression.17
    • Profits slumped and mass sackings followed with general manufacturing factory closure occurring.17
      • Unemployment in Australia reached 5%.17
    • Whitlam Labour government at the time, economic policy swung from expansion to reining in the ballooning deficit.17
      • government felt key to recovery was ‘healthy profits’.17
        • attacked dole bludgers, wage rises and militant unions.17
      • large scale protests occurred across Australia.17
      • Townsville 3 meatworks stopped work for the day October 24.17


  • Smorgon Consolidated industries purchased6


  • Type 1 road trains – truck with dog trailer allowed access directly to meatworks3.


  • Smorgon meat processing company suffer huge company collapse in early 1994


  • American markets opened for poorer quality meats and resulted in death knell of canning operations.6
  • February. closed5
    • closure announced by Smorgons on 27th Feb, 199510
  • A seasonlly operated plant that worked 9 months of the year, employed about 380 people, many long term employed at the facility10
  • previous year facility had processed 86,000 head of cattle10
    • projections that Live export would reach 390,000 in 1995 concerned union10
    • Australia’s total live cattle export for 1994/95 402,120 head and 1995/96 649,715 head11
  • Union and animal welfare group met and formed a group CALE (Committee Against Live Export)10
    • Tony Clunies-Ross as secretary10
    • CALE spearheads struggle to protect jobs and ease the suffering of animals10
    • Initive spread with CALE groups in Victoria and Western Australia10
  • 400 people lost jobs5


  • Land purchased by a developer of Fairfield Waters12
  • Developer had originally planned to keep the chimney and three gable buildings near it to turn into a public monument and a brewery12
    • Never allowed as reports showed all structures structurally damaged and should be demolished12
    • Buildings were demolished12


  • Buildings demolished leaving only brick chimney12

Chimney_edited-1Source – http://www.panoramio.com/photo/12516926, Tim Dickson, Not dated.
Remaining chimney of the Ross River meatworks


  • Developer Lancicn planned to demolish chimney to build a resort.12
    • Engineering report commissioned by Lancini found chimney was too unstable and old to preserve12
    • Residents complained and ordered a professional report into stacks structural integrity12
      • report said chimney could stay12
  • Government then fought over who should pay for repairs12
  • Chimney was heritage listed12
    • repairs cost $200,000
  • Chimney is now surrounded by Lancini’s Springbank urban village.12
    • Claims of ghostly figures appearing by the chimney as dark outlines, thought to be the ghost of a man named Crawford who died at the works in 1901 after he fell into a vat of boiling fat.13


  1. Competition & Exit in Meat Processing. Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  2. ‘100 years of northern beef production’Nth QLD Register 22.11.12
  3. ‘Trucking Industry moves ahead’ Nth QLD Register 11.04.13
  4. ‘The abattoirs – Evidence before the commission’ The Adelaide Advertiser. 30.01.1914.
  5. ‘Ross River Meatworks, Part I’ Nth QLD Register 18.07.13
  6. ‘Ross River meatworks, Part 2’ Nth QLD Register 25.07.13
  7. ‘100 years of struggle and change’ AMIEU History. Claude Jones
  8. ‘A history of the frozen meat trade’ Troubridge & Raymond. 1912
  9. http://www.jculibrarynews.blogspot.com.au
  10. ‘Meatworkers and animal libbers form alliance’ Green Left Weekly. 30.08.95
  11. ‘The Australian livestock export trade’ Nigel Austin. 2011
  12. http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_River_Meatworks_Chimney
  13. http://www.paranormal.com.au
  14. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Moore (1917-1990) Vol 18, 2012
  15. http://www.northqueenslandhistory.blogspot.com.au
  16. ‘Barricades & Batons: An historical perspective of the policing of major industrial disorder in Australia’ D. Baker. 1999
  17. anu.edu.au-Whitlam sacking 1975


Current Operation

  • Closed


  • East Kimberley, 120km from NT border

Map Wyndham

map.Wyndham 001Source – Hema Australia Handy map 9th edition.

Locations of other Australian abattoirs.


  • Project Development Corporation (PDC) prior to 19765
  • Wyndham Meats (1960’s)
  • Hookers & PDC created a joint venture (1976)5
  • Hookers owned outright (1978) operated as Norwest Beef Industries Limited5


  • Seasonal operation killed May to September1
  • Average turnover was 30,000 hd cattle1
  • 45 yrs of public operation ran at a loss, sold 19661
  • Was export accredited – received cattle from NT prior to 1959 (when Darwin and Katherine) built1



  • JJ Holmes – Member for East Fremantle, member of parliament, at time Commissioner of railways – talked of long range solution to tick problem was formation of freezing works and chilling works at Wyndham. Pg 1777


  • Talk of forming syndicates for chilling and beef-extract works in Wyndham. Pg 2057
  • Richard Tilden – British promotor who had been involved with failed mining schemes in Kalgoorlie, tries to raise capital to establish a floating abattoir.Pg 2337


  • Properties from Kimberley were loading cattle at Wyndham for delivery to Robbs Jetty abattoir (WA), SS Mildura had run aground at North-West Cape and caused drowning of all 700 cattle aboard. Pg 2377
  • Kimberley pasturelands was producing more cattle than WA state could consume and were walking cattle overland to Queensland abattoirs.Pg 2367
  • James Mitchell, Minister for Agriculture promises provide two thirds of cost of construction of works at Wyndham. 40-50,000 pounds. Interest free for first 5 years and thereafter on gaurantee of 5%.Pg 2377
    • People weren’t happy with the meatworks receiving assistance.7

“Why should rich firms like these get large sums of government money free of interest whilst a struggling farmer can get no more than 500 punds and pay 6% for it” West Australian Newspaper.Pg 2377


  • Techinical advisor of a large freezing works in Syndey investigates Wyndham proposal and advises cost to be minimum 100,000 pounds, 25,000 above original estimate.7
    • expert estimate included Jetty and supply of fresh water sourced 20 miles away from site7
    • Government withdraw support of funding. Pg 2597
    • Michael Durack visits William Angliss, who owns meatworks in Footscray, Melbourne, Angliss advises Durack that excluding land the facility cost 50,000 pounds, including freezing, chilling, boiling down and preserving works. pg 2677
  • Bovril Australian Estates show interest in partnering building of Wyndham abattoir. Pg 2937
    • Bovril would latter build Bullocky point abattoir (NT) in 1917, which only operated for 3 years
    • Bovril had just taken up leases in 1908 Victoria River Downs in NT and Carlton near Wyndham.Pg 3157
    • Bovril also said to be considering purchase of a steamer to convert to a floating abattoir7
      • approached Australian government for assistance and wanted to use Asian labour, business would be conducted in Cambridge gulf and not infringe on White Australia policy of the time. Pg 3157
  • Government attempted to assist with cattle movement – as alternative to sea transport subsidised the development of the Canning Stockroute. Pg 3167


  • Kimberley cattle being sold for 3 pounds in Fremantle after shipping from Wyndham and Derby. Pg 3247
  • Live export was opening up to Philippines which would take light weight cattle. Pg 3247


  • Advisor to Bovril that suitable site for an abattoir was on property Auvergne. Pg 3427
  • Government surveyor Sanderson, advises on feasibility of abattoir at Wyndham, with water being sourced from various sources.
    • Project wasn’t an alternative to Manilla live export trade but would be advantage to ship frozen meat to avoid quarantine  problems with stock to be held prior to shipping.Pg 3437
  • If meatworks not established in 1912. Richard Tilden would undertake project at estimated cost of 25,000 pounds, not including water which government was expected to provide. Pg 3497


  • WA change of Government from Liberal to Labor – leader John Scadden. Withdraw support of Wyndham abattoir. Pg 3807
    • The government enter the Wholesale butchery business to reduce price of meat to public. Pg 3807
    • Government also take over shipping along coast. Pg 4377


  • NT government talk of establishing meat works in Darwin, this is not supported by WA producers though a meatworks in Katherine was. Pg 3917
  • Government had already commited to establishment of abattoir in Darwin.7


  • Vesteys sign a contract with government to establish meatworks in Darwin. Pg 4147Bullocky Point abattoir (NT)
  • Declaration of WW1 occured – WA government reconsider establishment of meatworks at Wyndham. Pg 4147


  • March. WA state government sign a contract with building group Nevanas for materials and to construct abattoir for 159,510 pounds. Pg 4217
  • Bullocky point abattoir (NT) construction is well underway. Pg 4287
  • July. Agreement between government and Nevanas ended and Wyndham abattoir construction again under review.Pg 428.7
    • Shipping space to Nevanas had been made unprocurable. Pg 4307
    • 3% of estimate had been paid. Pg 4307
    • government renegotiated with Public works to build abattoir, some materials already delivered to Wyndham. Pg 4307
      • No public tender called and reaction of public was unfavourable.Pg 4307
  • Government supply two more ships for coast transport of people and cattle7
    • N.2. prinz Sigismund – Kaisers private yacht – renamed the Bambra. Pg 4377
    • Kangaroo – new vessel, first diesel engined motor vessel. Pg 4377


  • Wyndham works making progress – mile from town, Water pool is located 20 miles out with 2 25,000 gallon tanks and pumping site.Pg 4417


  • Trade union strikes impeded progress of meatworks construction. Pg 4547


  • Meatworks costs now 723,000 pounds from original estimate of 155,150. Pg 4627
    • Debate on how the works was to be run, by the state or a joint enterprise. Pg 4627
    • Nevanas claimed they had the right to solely operate the facility. Pg 4627
  • Construction finished late in 1918, facility had an electric lift. Pg 4697


  • Constructed as a public meat works1
  • Meatworks to be operated under Government control7
    • Government offered producers 5-7 pounds less than other markets.Pg 4727
    • Post war markets and freighting costs were still indefinite.Pg 4727
    • Outbreak of pneumonic influenza forced quarantine – disrupted travel, delay in loading and unloading cargo.Pg 4737
  • Government resumed land held near abattoir, 60,000 acres, land was resumed forcefully including all improvements, living quarters, yards, fences and wells, from Duracks with no compensation. Pg 4817


  • VRD cattle (Owner – Bovril Australian Estates) were Wyndham’s largest supplier5
  • Angliss discuss with Durack possibility of leasing Wyndham works.7
    • Angliss has processed in Australia 1,250,000 sheep and 30,000 cattle. Employed 1,000 men at 4 pounds to 4pounds 10 shillings a week. Pg 4907
  • June. Works having difficulties – inexperienced workers and strikes for higher pay. Pg 494.7


  • VRD supplied one third of 10 568 head slaughtered this year5
  • Abattoir paid £3 1s 5d, compared to realised value on VRD for 4000 head purchased by Sidney Kidman, paying £4 2s 6d5Pg 118.
  • ‘condemns’ chuted to be processed as meatmeal – ‘political reasons’5Pg 144.

Note by Jo Bloomfield – Not sure what this statement was in reference too – think there was strife between the management and workers and more than usual number of condemned cattle occurring, Could also refer to the government overseers.


  • Japanese attacked Darwin, Government at the time were concerned if Japan invaded from the north that they would have a ready supply of meat and food therefore temporaily closed the meatworks down from this time to approximately 1949.6
  • Government also had landholders remove many cattle from northern properties and move south incase of invasion, so as to deny ready food source6
  • Cattle which had normally supplied this abattoir were now walked down the Murranji stockroute, eventually to QLD, 47,000 cattle in 1942, 30,000 from Vestey’s Wavehill alone. Demand for meat had increased on east due to Troops6


  • ‘Airbeef’ Cattle slaughtered on Glenroy station, meat flown to Wyndham and Derby for exports and freezing1


  • Abattoirs in the north were still operated ‘frontier mentality'(Pg 64)9
    • short processing seasons of 20-25 weeks9
    • largley itinerant labour9
    • Living and working conditions were dangerous9
    • Animal welfare standards were low9
    • Sanitation compiled to UK market standardsfor quarter beef, were well below standards for emerging US markets of boxed beef (Pg 64)9
  • US grinding beef market of the late 1950’s suited the cattle that were present in the north (Pg 64)9
  • Plants were encouraged to upgrade to meet USDA standards (Pg 64)9


  • Improved to meet stringent USDA (USA Dept of agriculture) hygiene regulations1


  • Wyndham Meats – Collective bargaining with Emanuel Exports, including Derby and Broome
  • UK agreement – quarter bone in carcases – meat was of inferior quality. Many condemned and processed into meatmeal5


  • Abattoir sold to private buyer1.


  • Entire plant is condemned for its wooden structure by USDA reviewer(Pg 64)9
    • Decision was extended to cover all Wyndham beef on the water and in the US9
  • Affected importers and exporters, Wasn’t covered by insurance (Pg 64)9
    • finanical fallout took many years to resolve.9
  • Connections in Eastern Europe and Austria came in to play (Pg 65)9
    • 1,000t of affected product still in Australia was picked up at Wyndham and sold to Romania, with health certificates9
    • Export statistics don’t show shipments to Romania for that year, apparently customs and DPI were not present at loading9


  • Couldn’t meet USDA standards – lost export licence, so did Broome, Derby, Darwin and Katherine1
  • Beef Crisis was taking effect, many northern abattoirs were losing money.9


  • Ray Fryer – Uranpunga, Roper Gulf (NT) – trucked his own cattle from property to works. 3 day round trip, 1100 miles, 22 bullocks or 20 cows, received $150/hd ($3000 total), cost $500 fuel. “It was the only way to get a bit of money coming in”4


  • Ian Mc Bean was sending load of cattle from Bradshaw, return of sale barely covered costs of sending the animals (Pg 122)8


  • PDC & Hookers created joint venture in attempt to rationalise the Katherine and Wyndham meatworks, outside shareholdings also purchased5


  • Hooker Corporation owned outright5


  • Export beef plant closed June 19851
  • Stayed open longer than other plants as was subsidised by the government3
  • Effluent from the works ran into a drain and straight into the sea, great burly for sharks (Pg 67)9


  1. ‘Sailing ahead’ Annabelle Coppin. 2009
  2. ‘The Australian livestock Export trade’ Nigel Austin 2011
  3. ‘Northern Australian Beef industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE 2012
  4.  ‘Red Dust Rising- The story of Ray Fryer of Urapunga’ Marion Houldsworth 2004.
  5. ‘The Big Run- The story of VRD station’ Jock Makin. 1970
  6. ‘The Murranji track – Ghost road of the drovers’ Darrell Lewis 2007.
  7. ‘Sons in the Saddle’ Mary Durack.
  8. ‘The privileged few’ Jeff Hill. 2008
  9. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn 2013